BUIMO jail outside Lae city needs three more cell blocks and 100 correctional officers to cater for the 700 prisoners, new commanding officer Supt Timbi Kaugla said.
Supt Kaugla said that the jail had four cells manned by 57 warders.
There are 46 male and 11 female officers. Ten of the warders are residing in a bush material house.
Each cell has the capacity to cater for 50-60 prisoners.
“More than 100 inmates are forced to crowd in one cell block. The worst is the remandees’ cell,” he said.
The overcrowding also gives rise to spread of diseases. The 700 prisoners, for the last two weeks had gone without water for cooking and washing.
The water was pumped in from the nearby creek to the Southern Cross and treated for consumption.
“It’s a serious threat to the hygiene of the prisoners and officers while cholera bacterium is still around,” Supt Kaugla said.
He took over from Chief Supt Samson Jaro at the beginning of the year.
He was previously at the Bundaira Jail in Kainantu, Eastern Highlands province.
Chief Supt Jaro has been posted to headquarters at Bomana.
Both men repeated calls that with the current boom in mining and liquefied natural gas projects in the country would come all manner of crime – both imaginable and unimaginable.
“We need to arm our police with latest technologies to enforce the law and order situation while have CS equipped with improved infrastructure to contain the prisoners.
“We have to expect the unexpected trend of crimes,” Supt Kaugla said.